Nigerian agro-commodities product profiles from Omnibus Agro

Shea Nut Product Profile

Shea Nut Product Profile

History: Shea nut butter has been used for centuries in Africa for cosmetics, funeral rites , medicinal ,soap making and as cooking oil.Estimated National Production: 500,000 MT annually.Export from Nigeria: About 3% of the national production is exported.Types: They are usually accessed based on the content.Uses: They are used in the production of Shea butter which is used in the cosmetics, confectionery and other such industries.
Areas of Production: Shea nut is produced in Kwara State at Ode-Giwa in the Asa Local Government are and also in Minna area of Niger state in Nigeria. Other states include kogi, Oyo, Kebbi, Kogi and Ogun state.

Shea nuts are the fruits of Shea butter tree botanically know as Vitellaria. In Africa, there are two main commercial species namely Vitellaria paradoxa-mostly found in West African in countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Mali. The second specie is called Vitellaria nilotica is mostly in Uganda.

The fruit is usually 5-8 cm long and 3-4 cm wide, elliptic, a yellow or green berry with thick, butter-like, mucos pericap contains one seed which is oval or round. The seed is usually surrounded by a fragile shinning shell with large hillum on a broad base.

The following is the benchmark composition for the export of Shea nut:Free Fatty Acid {FFA} Content: Less than or equal to 60%

Moisture Content: Less than or equal to 70%
Oil Content: Greater than or equal to 45%
Latex: 4-10%

The oil content is the most crucial element of the Shea nut as that component is an important ingredient in the composition of the butter that goes into cocoa butter equivalent {CBE} and other by products. If the oil content is higher and the FFA and moisture content is lower, then the exporter will receive a price premium.

In terms of market share, the Chocolate and Confectionary market represents about 95% while the Cosmetics and Pharmaceuticals market represent 5% of the market share.

The return on investment on the export of Shea nut is estimated between 10%- 15%.

Sesame Seed Product Profile

Sesame Seed export

Description: Sesame seeds (or sesamum or benniseed) are the seeds of the tropical annual Sesamum indicum. The species has a long history of cultivation, mostly for its yield of oil. The original area of domestication of sesame is obscure but it seems likely to have first been brought into cultivation in Asia or India.

The plant is usually 60 to 120cm tall and the fruit is a dehiscent capsule held close to the stem. When ripe, the capsule shatters to release a number of small seeds. The seeds are protected by a fibrous ‘hull’ or skin, which may be whitish to brown or black depending on the variety. 1000 seeds weigh some 4-8g. The seeds have a high oil content of 44-60%.

Harvest: Harvesting begins in late December and continues through July. Each producing area stated in the next section below (Locations) has only one season.

Locations: The major producing areas in order of priority are Nasarawa, Jigawa and Benue States. Other important areas of production are found in Yobe, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Gombe and Plateau States. The major marketing centers (towns and states) of sesame seeds in Nigeria.

Types/Varieties: There are 3 types of sesame (and these include: White, Black and Brown/Mixed sesame seeds). However only two of these are majorly produced in Nigeria and these includes;

1. White/raw = Food-grade used in bakery industry. 98-100% whitest grade seeds.
2. Brown/mixed = primarily oil-grade.
The White (Food Grade) seed is grown around the towns of Keffi, Lafia/Makurdi, Doma, and in Nassarawa, Taraba, and Benue States. It is easier to sort and the Fumani/Denin people consume sesame locally. The Brown/mixed grows in the North, in Kano State and in Jigawa State near Hadejia, and somewhat in the southern part of Katsina State.

Uses: Most sesame is processed directly into oil by the grower or within the producing region, but can also be sold in various stages of processing, for various uses, such as meal, paste, confections, and bakery products.

Export market: The major importer of sesame seeds in the world is Japan while the major consuming markets in the EU are Greece, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. In the past, the bulk of sesame was imported from China. Increasingly, other sources such as India, Sudan and, most recently, Pakistan, are taking the market share. The USA is the fifth largest import market with a steady demand for over 50,000 tonnes per year.

Export Price: The export free on board price of sesame seed varies from USD 900 -1400/MT depending on the type and form of the sesame seed and the negotiation made with the buyers.

Local price: local price per metric tonne MT of sesame seed varies from NGN80,000.00 during the peak season to about NGN120,000.00 at the off season. However local price when delivered EXW Lagos (delivered in Lagos) could range from NGN 130,000 – 160,000.00.

Export Product Profile: Charcoal


Description: Charcoal is the blackish residue consisting of impure carbon obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, i.e. the heating of wood, sugar, bone char, or other substances in the absence of oxygen. The resulting soft, brittle, lightweight, black, porous material resembles coal and is 85% to 98% carbon with the remainder consisting of volatile chemicals and ash.

Harvest: Hard wood charcoal can be produced year round. However it generally advised that charcoal production and export should be done during the dry season (from November to May). Production and export of charcoal during the raining season could be rejected by buyers because of the high moisture content (more than 10%) that usually characterized the charcoal produced during this period.

Location: Charcoal can be produced from different part of the country especially in the south west region (Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti e.t.c), south-south and south-eastern part of the country (Enugu, Rivers, Cross river e.t.c) and also in the middle belt (Kwara, Kogi, Abuja and Benue) area of the country.

Ash content: 3% -4%max
Volatile matter: 5-10% max
Wood matter: 2-4% max
Size: 20-120mm
Carbon: 65%-80%
Moisture content: 8% max

Uses: Charcoals are widely used for outdoor grilling and barbecues in backyards and on camping trips. it‘s also used for House-Heating. Historically, charcoal was used in great quantities for smelting iron and later in blast furnaces and finery forges.

Export market: The export markets for charcoals from Nigeria include Germany, Belgium, Greece the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Spain, Bulgaria and UK. The largest exporters of charcoal in the EU are Poland, France, Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. They buy and sell to the rest of Europe.

Export Price: Hardwood charcoal is usually exported in jute bags or in bulk (i.e. pours directly into the container). The Export free on board (fob) price of therefore varies based on negotiation and the mode of packing. It can vary from about EUR155 – 190/MT. At this fob price, the return on investment (ROI) of charcoal could range from 25-45%

Local price: The local price of charcoal varies depending on the location where its being sourced and the form of package you require. It is usually sold in a 30-33kg bags and the local price ranges from NGN 400-700 per bag

Export Product Profile: Raw Cashew Nut

Raw Cashew Nut

Description: Cashew (Anacardium Occidentale L.) is a tree crop of considerable economic importance to Nigeria and other tropical countries. Apart from being a source of useful products and byproducts for food, medicinal and industrial applications, cashew gives also a useful shade, while ornamental and alley trees are suitable for the control of soil erosion, particularly for the protection of watersheds and dams.
Harvest: Cashew nut setting begins in the middle of dry season, while harvesting takes place mainly in February or March. The entire harvest period occupies about 16 weeks. In the Eastern and Western parts of the country, where quality cashew nuts are grown, nuts are allowed to drop to the ground before they are collected. This practice ensures that only ripe nuts are collected. Nuts normally fall to the ground with their apples attached; the two are normally separated with a twisting action during collection. The remnants of the apple flash adhering to the nuts are removed with a sharp knife. After picking, the nuts are dried in the sun for 2 to 3 days, to reduce their moisture content to about 12 %. Properly dried nuts are packed in jute bags and can be kept for 6 to 10 months, if stored in suitable condition.

Locations: Major cashew growing areas in Nigeria are, by order of importance: Enugu, Abia, Imo, Anambra, Ebonyi and Cross River States in the eastern part of the country; Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and Ogun States in the Western part, as well as Kwara, Kogi, Nassarawa, Benue, Taraba, Niger and FCT in the Middle Belt and also Sokoto and Kebbi States in the North West part of the country. The majority of export quality nuts come from the Western and Eastern parts of the country.

Specification: According to SGS (quality inspectors), the standard for raw cashew nuts, unshelled, is specified as follows:

i. Nut count 180-200 per kg
ii. Moisture content 8-10% max
iii. Defective nuts 15% max
iv. Float Rate 18% max
v. Admixture 0.25% max
vi. Foreign matter 0.25% max
vii. KoR, or shelling out-turn 48-50 Ibs/bag
(Obiazu, P. C.,(2000) ‘Quality Requirements for Nigeria Agricultural Products’. Unpublished Seminar Paper.)

Uses: The cashew nut is a popular snack, and its rich flavor means that it is often eaten on its own, lightly salted or sugared. In addition to this, cashew nutshell liquid (CNSL), a by-product of processing cashew, is mostly composed of anacardic acids. These acids have been used effectively against tooth abscesses due to their lethality to bacteria.

Export market: The major buyers of cashew nut from Nigeria are mainly India and Singapore. Smaller percentage goes to Europe.
Export price: The export free on board (fob) price of raw cashew nut varies from about USD 500-600/MT. However, when an exporter adds value to this product by processing it into kernels, the fob price could quadruple that of raw cashew nut.
Local price: The local price per metric tonne MT for raw cashew nuts delivered EXW Lagos (delivered in Lagos) varies from NGN40,000.00 during the peak season to about NGN80,000.00 at the off season.

Cashew Nut Specifications In Detail

The crop season in West Africa is from March to June.
There is not a general standard for cashew nuts but some parameters can establish the quality of the cashew and the appreciation on the market.

1 - Out-turn / Yield

It is the quantity of cashew kernel that can be obtained after decorticating (remove the shell of a cashew nut) 80 kg of raw cashew nuts. The count is in pounds per 80kg.
A good out turn is from 43 to 48 lbs
An excellent out turn is from 48 to 55 lbs

2-. Nut count

It is the number or raw cashew nuts per kg
170 excellent
180-190 very good
190-200 good
200-210 middle
210-220 low middle
230 limit acceptable
lower: poor
Please note that:
- It is necessary to balance this information with the out-turn
- In West Africa most of the raw cashew nuts, depending the year, have a nut count from 190 to 210.

3- Moisture / Humidity For export 12% and less otherwise there are risks for the goods during the shipping

4- Foreign matter: 5% max
5- Defective :Lower than 10%
6- Float Rate: This is the total number of cashew nuts that will float when poured into water. A good float rate is 18%max

Export Product Profile: Ginger

ginger export

Description: Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) is a commodity that is highly valued in international markets for its aroma, pungency and high oil and Aleo resin content. Nigeria is the third largest exporter of ginger in the world after China and India. Most of the dried ginger that are available for international trade are simply sun dried over a few days, but artificial drying is also used in areas lacking a defined dry season to coincide with the harvest. The rhizome is dried to between 10 and 12 per cent moisture content. Dried ginger is usually presented in a split or sliced form. Splitting is said to be preferred to slicing, as slicing loses more flavour, but the sliced are easier to grind and this is the predominant form of dried ginger currently in the market.

Harvest: harvesting of ginger starts from October and normally continues until April/May. This largely depends on the market situation as ginger can be left on the ground (not harvested) for two years.

Locations: Ginger is produced in six states of the Federation namely, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Benue, Niger and Gombe with Kaduna as the major producer. Nigeria's production in 2005 was estimated at 110,000 metric tonnes (FAO). Out of this, 10% is locally consumed as fresh ginger while 90% is dried primarily for the export markets.


Moisture content: 6-9% max
Oil content: 1-2%
Impurities: 0-2%max

Uses: The list of ginger uses is almost endless, being a pungent spicy herb and one of the more popular food spices. They range from baked products like gingerbread, ginger biscuits, ginger cookies to drinks like ginger tea, ginger beer, ginger ale, etc. Ginger contains about two per cent essential oil. The oil is extracted and distilled from rhizomes for various uses in confectionery, perfumery, beverages and pharmaceuticals. Dried ginger is used predominantly for flavouring coffee especially in the Middle East. It contains medicinal qualities and it is also used to calm nausea and aids digestion. Dried ginger is used in many different cooking methods. It is an important spice in Asia, the Caribbean and African cooking.

Export market: The export markets for ginger include the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, France, United States of America, Russia, Saudi Arabia among others.

Export Price: The export free on board price of ginger ranges from USD 2500 -2600/MT depending on the type and form in which the ginger is packaged and also the negotiation made with the buyers.

Local price: The local price of of dry split ginger deliver to Lagos from kafanchan in Kaduna state varies from N270,000 and N300,000.

Export Product Profile: Gum Arabic

gum arabic export

Description: Gum Arabic (Acacia Senegal) Gum Acacia, also known as Gum Arabic, is a natural gum harvested from the exterior of Acacia trees in the form of dry, hard nodules up to 50 mm in diameter, and ranging from almost colourless to brown. Its unique properties endow it with a wide range of uses in food, beverage, pharmaceutical and industrial applications. There are over 1,100 Acacia species worldwide. However Acacia Senegal and Acacia Seyal are the most commercially exploited species.

Nigeria has three grades of Gum Arabic namely:

Acacia Senegal (grade 1)
Acacia seyal (Grade 2)and
Combretum (Grade 3).

The major Acacia utilized for commercial Gum Arabic production in Nigeria are Acacia Senegal and Acacia seyal. Nigeria is the 2nd largest producer of the crop in the world after Sudan with average production of 20,000 metric tonnes of all grades of Gum Arabic. In the year 2004, world production of Gum Arabic was put at 70,000 metric tonnes while Nigeria's production amounted to 18,935 metric tonnes with export earnings of US$88.08 million.

Harvest: Gum Arabic is harvested during the dry season because during the rainy season, no gum is formed since the trees are in full bloom. The dry season lasts from October to June and the gum is collected every 10 days during this period. After collection, the gum is brought from the farms and stands to villages from there it’s transported to market

Locations: Gum Arabic is produced in about 14 States of the Federation namely Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba, Plateau, Adamawa, Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Nasarawa and Niger with an estimated population of 4 million Nigerians engaged in its cultivation and trade.


Features % percentage

Purity: 98%min
Moisture: 10-12%max
Total Ash: 4-6% max
Acid Insoluble residue: 0.4% max
Starch: Negative
Tannin Bearing Gums: Negative
Salmonella: Negative
E. Coli: Negative

Uses: Gum Arabic is used as thickener, suspender, emulsifier, stabilizer, flavour carrier, binder and encapsulating material. In addition, it is used in confectionaries, food, beverages, pharmaceuticals and chemical industries.

Export market: The major markets for the product are: Belgium, China, USA, U.K and Japan.

Export Price

Grades FOB price /MT
Grade I USD 2,800-3,200
Grade II USD 1,850-2,200
Grade III USD 900-1,100

Local price: The local price of gum Arabic grade I ranges from about N170,000 to 180,000/MT in Kano. Delivery to Lagos will increase the unit price per MT by 10,000 to 20,000.

Export Product Profile:Garlic

Description: Garlic (Allium sativum) belong to the family Alliaceae. It is second most widely used amongst cultivated Alliums after onion (Allium cepa). The crop consists of an underground bulb and above the ground vegetative part which consist of the leaves and flowers. The rooting system is fibrous while the bulbs comprise of small bulbils called
cloves, which are the vegetative propagating materials of the crop. Garlic has been used throughout recorded history for both culinary and medicinal purposes. It has a characteristic pungent, spicy flavor that mellows and sweetens considerably with cooking.

Harvest: Garlic is usually harvested in the summer months. The harvesting begins in July and picking can continue all the way through August.

Locations: Garlic has been in cultivation for many decades in Northern States of Nigeria such as Kano, Sokoto, Borno, Bauchi, Kafanchan (Kaduna) Jigawa, Kastina and Zamfara.

Specifications and Export Price:

Variety: Normal white garlic, Pure white garlic
Size: 4.5-5.0cm, 5.0-5.5cm, 5.5-6.0cm, 6.0-6.5cm, 6.5-7.0cm
1) Garlic with purple,
5.5cm up, packing in mesh of 20kgs, the price is USD150/MT FOB, USD195/MT FOB
6.0cm up, packing in mesh of 20kgs, the price is USD190/MT FOB , USD235/MT FOB
10 KGS 40 X 250 G (4 PIECES OF 6.0 CM) USD310/MT FOB
10 KGS 40 X 250 G (5 PIECES OF 5.5 CM) USD285/MT FOB
10 KGS 50 X 200 G (3 PIECES OF 6.0 CM) USD320/MT FOB
2) Pure white garlic
5.5cm up, 10x1kg , USD390/MT FOB
6.5cm up, 10x1kg, USD455/MT FOB

Uses: Garlic is widely used around the world for its pungent flavor as a seasoning or condiment. The medicinal uses of garlic include vermifuge, antiseptic, diaphoretic, diuretic, stimulant and expectorant. It is also said to have great value when applied as a topical ointment to skin conditions such as acne or other types of pimples.

Export market: The United States is the world’s largest import market for fresh garlic, followed closely by Indonesia, France, Germany, Australia and Brazil.

Local price: The local price of garlic ranges from about N170,000 to about N210,000/MT, depending on the location of purchase and the period during its season.

Product Profiles: Shea Butter

shea butter export

Description: Shea butter is a slightly yellowish or ivory colored natural fat extracted from the seed of the African shea tree by crushing and boiling. It is widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizer and salve. Shea nuts are primarily grown in West and Central Africa in the semi-arid Sahel,referred to by traders as the "Shea Belt". Vitellaria paradoxa and Vitellaria nilotica are the two main varieties. Vitellaria paradoxa is exported in the largest volume and grows throughout the West African region. Vitellaria nilotica is produced primarily in northern Uganda and southern Sudan. Shea nut products, the solid fat (butter or stearin) and the liquid oil (olein), are ideal for use as raw materials in cooking oil, margarine, cosmetics, soap, detergents and candles, but it has found its primary market niche as a substitute for cocoa butter in the chocolate and confectionery industry.

Harvest: Shea nut trees grow widely and naturally in West Africa. They only begin to bear fruit after about 20 years and do not reach maturity for 45 years. They may continue to produce nuts for up to 200 years after reaching maturity. The nuts, which are embedded in a soft fruit, fall to the ground during the harvesting period (typically June through August). They are then buried in pits which cause the pulp to ferment and disintegrate and produce enough heat to prevent germination. The nuts are dried for a few days and are later shelled and winnowed, usually by hand. The kernels are dried further to reduce moisture content from about 40 percent to about 7 percent.

Locations: Sheanut grows in the wild across the Sudan-Sahelian region of Africa. The major producing countries are: Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Ghana, Uganda, Mali, Burkina Faso and Central African Republic. Nigeria is currently the leading producer of Sheanut in the world and in 2004 Nigeria's production of the commodity was 414,000 metric tonnes with export value of US$61.04 million (Source: FAO). Shea butter is produced in Kwara State at Ode-Giwa in the Asa Local Government are and also in Minna area of Niger state in Nigeria. Other states include kogi, Oyo and Ogun state.


Shea butter is graded based on a number of factors. For some buyers, It could be based on the percentage of the expected vital constituents present in the sample while some other buyers use the level of refining and contamination present as their criteria. Based on the percentage of the expected vital constituents present, Shea butter can be graded as shown in the table below;

Based on the level of refining done and contamination present, shea butter is now classified into five grades: A (raw or unrefined, extracted using water), B (refined), C (highly refined and extracted with solvents such as hexane), D (lowest uncontaminated grade), E (with contaminants). Commercial grades are A, B, C. The color of raw (grade A) butter ranges from cream (like whipped butter) to grayish yellow, and it has a nutty aroma which is removed in the other grades. Grade C is pure white. Grade A retains the most natural vitamins, especially vitamin A and vitamin E, which are partially lost in the other grades.


Traditionally, African shea butter is used for cooking oil, as a water proofing wax, for hairdressing and for candle-making; and also as an ingredient of medicinal ointments.

Industrially, shea butter is used in cosmetics production, such as moisturizer creams and emulsion, and hair conditioners for dry and brittle hair. It is also used by soap makers, typically in small amounts (5-7% of the oils in the recipe), because of its property of leaving a small amount of oil in the soap. Shea butter is also used as an ingredient in chocolate fillings.

Medicinally, Shea butter is used as a base for medicinal ointments, and has been claimed to have anti-inflammatory properties emollient and humectants. Shea butter has been claimed to be effective treatment for the following conditions: fading scars, eczema, burns, rashes, severely dry skin, dark spots, skin discolorations, chapped lips, stretchmarks, wrinkles, and in lessening the irritation of psoriasis.

New Commercial Uses

• Shea based adhesives, resins, and composites
• Shea Plastics and compounding
• Shea conversion into chemicals, solvents, and fuels
• Nutritional value and characterization
• Total utilization of shea materials for new commercial uses

Export market: Shea butter is becoming increasingly popular as an ingredient in cosmetics and soaps, especially in France and the US. Major destinations for Nigeria's Sheanut are the EU and Japan while for the shea butter are Asia, Europe and the Americas.

Export Price: Buyers in Europe and the United States are quote FOB prices ranging from USD1,500-3,000/MT depending on the quality and quantity of product ordered) for unrefined shea butter from Abidjan, Accra or Lagos packed in 20 pound dark plastic sacks or 50 kilo dark plastic containers or coated steel drums.

Local price: The local market price of Shea butter per MT ranges from NGN180,000.00 to NGN250,000.00 to deliver it to Lagos during the season.

Product Profile: Cotton Lint

cotton export

Description: Cotton is a natural fibre of vegetable origin, like linen, jute or hemp. Mostly composed of cellulose (a carbohydrate plant substance) and formed by twisted, ribbon-like shaped fibres, cotton is the fruit of a shrubby plant commonly referred to as the "cotton plant". The cotton plant, a variety of plants of the genus Gossypium, belongs to the Malvacae family, which comprises approximately 1,500 species, also including the baobab tree, the bombax or the mallow.

Harvest: For countries in the West African region, the planting season span through May-July while the harvesting period starts around October and continues till December.

Locations: Nigerian cotton which is mainly rain fed is grown in the savanna region of the northern states in the areas extending from. The three major Cotton producing zones in the country are:

Northern Zone: Comprising of Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kano, Jigawa and northern part of Niger state.
Eastern Zone: Comprising of Bauchi, Yobe, Borno, Adamawa and Taraba states.
Southern Zone: Comprising parts of Plateau, Benue, Kogi and Kwara states.
Of the three zones mentioned above, Northern and Eastern zones are considered as the major producing zones and account for 60 and 35 percent of the crop respectively.

Specifications: The preferred grade of cotton lints is expected to have the following characteristics.

Classing grade - Strict Middling White (21-2)
Staple length- ≥ 1-1/8 inches (1.13 inches / 28.6 mm)
Micronaire- 3.8 - 4.2
Strength- ≥ 30 grams per tex
Color- White
Reflectance- Rd ≥ 75
Yellowness- +b < 9 Length uniformity ratio- ≥ 83% Short fiber content- ≤ 5% Elongation- ≥ 6% Maturity- 88% Fineness- ≤ 180 millitex (µg/m) Neps- < 200 / gram Uses: The major end uses for cotton fibre include wearing apparel, home furnishings, and other industrial uses (such as medical supplies). The cotton fibre is made primarily into yearns and threads for use in the textile and apparel sectors (wearing apparel would account for approximately 60% of cotton consumption). Cotton is also used to make home furnishings, such as draperies (eventually the third major end use) or professional garments (about 5% of cotton fibre demand) Export market: According to International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) data, China, the United States, India, and Pakistan as a whole have accounted for approximately more than 55% of global cotton consumption over the period 1980 to 2008. However, the major buyers from Nigeria include China, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Republic of Benin. Export Price: The FOB prices range from USD1,200-1,500 /MT depending on quality and time of year. Local price: The local market price per MT ranges from NGN110, 000.00 to NGN150,000.00 or more depending on the quality and the period of the year.

Product Profile: Coal

coal export

Description: Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock normally occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure. Coal is composed primarily of carbon along with variable quantities of other elements, chiefly hydrogen, with smaller quantities of sulfur, oxygen and nitrogen

Occurrence: Coal begins as layers of plant matter accumulating at the bottom of a body of water. For the process to continue, the plant matter must be protected from biodegradation and oxidization, usually by mud or acidic water. This traps their carbon in immense peat bogs that are eventually covered over and deeply buried by sediments. Under this compression the plant material is metamorphosed into coal: over time, the chemical and physical properties of the plant remains are changed by geological action to create a solid material.

The wide shallow seas of the Carboniferous period provided ideal conditions for coal formation, although coal is known from most geological periods. The exception is the coal gap in the Lower Triassic, where coal is rare: presumably a result of the mass extinction which prefaced this era. Coal is even known from Precambrian strata, which predate land plants: this coal is presumed to have originated from algal residues.

Coal, a fossil fuel, is the largest source of energy for the generation of electricity worldwide, as well as one of the largest worldwide anthropogenic sources of carbon dioxide releases. Gross carbon dioxide emissions from coal usage are slightly more than those from petroleum and about double the amount from natural gas. Coal is extracted from the ground by mining, either underground by shaft mining through the seams or in open pits.

Locations: Coal exploration in Nigeria started as far back as 1916. Available data show that Coal (mainly sub-bituminous steam Coals except for the Lafia-Obi bituminous Coking Coal) occurrences in Nigeria have been indicated in more than 22 Coalfields spread over 13 States of the Federation.

The proven Coal reserves so far in Nigeria total about 639 million metric tones whilethe inferred reserves sum up to 2.75 billion metric tones. Presently, the Nigeria Coal Industry has 4 existing mines, Okpara and Onyeama Underground Mines in Enugu state, Aba surface mine in Kogi State and Owukpa Underground Mine in Benue State In addition, there are more than 13 undeveloped Coal fields.

The undeveloped Coal fields in Nigeria are of two categories, viz: the Virgin Coal fields where further detailed exploration work and/or access roadways are required and the developing Coalfields where reserves have been proven and Mine access road ways developed. The developing coal fields in Nigeria are stated in the table below.

Locations State

Azagba Lignite field Delta
Ogboyoga Coal field Kogi
Ezimo Coal field Enugu
Lafia-Obi Coal field Nassarawa
lnyi Coal field Enugu
Amansiodo Enugu
Ute Ondo
Lamla area Adamawa
Gindi-Akunti Plateau
Afuze Bauchi
Janata-Koji Kwara
Okpara Mine Enugu

Specifications: The coal specification varies depending on the requirement of the buyer and this could vary base ranges stated in table below.

Features Percentage

Fixed Carbon 40-70%
Moisture 8-12%
Volatile Matter 20-30%
Ash Content 5-10%
Sulphur 0.2-0.8%
Size 30-100mm

Uses: Coal has many important uses worldwide. The most significant uses are in electricity generation, steel production, cement manufacturing and as a liquid fuel. Around 6.1 billion tonnes of hard coal were used worldwide in 2010 and 1 billion tonnes of brown coal. Since 2000, global coal consumption has grown faster than any other fuel.

Different types of coal have different uses. Steam coal - also known as thermal coal - is mainly used in power generation. Coking coal - also known as metallurgical coal - is mainly used in steel production.

The biggest market for coal is Asia, which currently accounts for over 65% of global coal consumption; although China is responsible for a significant proportion of this. Many countries do not have natural energy resources sufficient to cover their energy needs, and therefore need to import energy to help meet their requirements.

Other important users of coal include alumina refineries, paper manufacturers, and the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Several chemical products can be produced from the by-products of coal. Refined coal tar is used in the manufacture of chemicals, such as creosote oil, naphthalene, phenol, and benzene. Ammonia gas recovered from coke ovens is used to manufacture ammonia salts, nitric acid and agricultural fertilizers. Thousands of different products have coal or coal by-products as components: soap, aspirins, solvents, dyes, plastics and fibers, such as rayon and nylon. Coal is also an essential ingredient in the production of specialist products:

• Activated carbon - used in filters for water and air purification and in kidney dialysis machines.
• Carbon fiber - an extremely strong but light weight reinforcement material used in construction, mountain bikes and tennis rackets.
• Silicon metal - used to produce silicones and silanes, which are in turn used to make lubricants, water repellents, resins, cosmetics, hair shampoos and toothpastes.

Export market: The five largest coal users - China, USA, India, Russia and Japan - account for 77% of total global coal use. Japan, Chinese Taipei and Korea, for example, import significant quantities of steam coal for electricity generation and coking coal for steel production

Export Price: Depending on the carbon content of the Coal the FOB price could vary from USD100-250/MT.

Local price: The local market price of Coal at the loading point could vary from NGN5,000-NGN7,000/MT or more.

Product Profiles: Cocoa Beans

cocoa beans export

Description: Cocoa bean (also cacao bean, often simply cocoa andcacao) is the dried and fully fermented fatty seed of Theobroma cacao, from which cocoa solids and cocoa butter are extracted. A cocoa pod (fruit) has a rough leathery rind about 3 cm thick (this varies with the origin and variety of pod). It is filled with sweet, mucilaginous pulp (called 'baba de cacao' in South America) enclosing 30 to 50 large seeds that are fairly soft and pale pink or lavender in color. Seeds usually are white, becoming violet or reddish brown during the drying process. The exception is rare varieties of white cacao, in which the seeds remain white. Historically, white cacao was cultivated by the Rama people of Nicaragua. It provides means of livelihood, sustenance and employment opportunities to over five million Nigerians, In the year 2005 alone, export revenue from the sale of cocoa amounted to US$136.7 million. Nigeria along with Cote d'lvoire and Ghana all in West Africa, account for about 70% of the world's cocoa production.

World Producers: The four major West African cocoa producers are the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon. The Ivory Coast produces about 43 percent of the world's cocoa. The next largest producer is Ghana with about 14 percent of the world's output. Nigeria produces about 6 percent of the world's cocoa. Outside of West Africa, the major producers of cocoa are Indonesia, Brazil, Malaysia, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic. Cocoa producers like Ghana and Indonesia have been making efforts to increase cocoa production while producers like Malaysia have been switching to other crops.

Harvest: Cocoa trees reach maturity in 5-6 years but can live to be 50 years or more. During the course of a growing season, the cocoa tree will produce thousands of flowers but only a few will develop into cocoa pods. The typical production pattern is for a large main crop to be followed by a smaller mid crop. In West Africa, the main crop harvest starts in the September-October period and can extend into the January-March period. That is followed by the smaller mid crop harvest which is usually of lower quality than the main crop.

Locations: Cocoa beans is produced in 16 states of the federation namely Ondo, Cross River, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Ogun, Edo, Kogi, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Abia, Kwara, Ebonyi, Rivers, Taraba and Adamawa with an annual production of 400,000 metric tonnes however 98% of this is exported.OndoState is the highest cocoa producing State in Nigeria and Idanre is the hub of cocoa Production in the state.


• Moisture 6-8 %
• Bean Counts 100-115 beans per 100g
• Moulds 3-5 %
• Slaty 4-5 %
• E.Coli Negative
• Broken beans 2 -3%
• Impurity 2-4 %

Uses: Cocoa seeds are the source of commercial cocoa (cocoa beans), the four intermediate cocoa products (cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, cocoa cake and cocoa powder) and chocolate. Although the market for chocolate is the largest consumer of cocoa in terms of bean equivalent, intermediate products such as cocoa powder and cocoa butter are used in several areas.

Cocoa powder is essentially used as flavor in biscuits, ice cream, dairy drinks and cakes. Apart its use as flavor it is also used in the manufacture of coatings for confectioners or frozen desserts. Cocoa powder is also consumed by the beverage industry for example for the preparation of chocolate milk.

Besides the traditional uses in chocolate manufacture and confectionery, cocoa butter is also used in the manufacture of tobacco, soap and cosmetics. It is also a folk remedy for burns, cough, dry lips, fever, malaria, rheumatism, snakebite and wounds. It is reported to be antiseptic and diuretic.

Export market: Major market destinations for Nigeria's Cocoa are: Netherlands, U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy, USA and Japan. Other markets being explored are the emerging economic powers of China and India.

Export Price: The export free on board price of cocoa beans has fluctuated between USD3,000-3,500/MT from January to August 2010.

Local price: The local market price of raw cocoa beans per MT ranges from NGN400,000.00 to NGN500,00.00 to deliver it to Lagos during the season and also when the commodity is off the season.

Product Profiles: Soya Beans

soya beans export

Description: Soybeans belong to the legume family and are native to East Asia. They have been an important protein source in the Orient for over five thousand years. Soybeans have only been introduced to the Western world since the 20th century. Soybeans grow on a variety of soils and a wide range of climates, ranging from tropical Brazil to the snowy island Hokkaido in the north of Japan. As soybeans mature in the pod, they ripen into hard, dry beans. Although most soybeans are yellow, there are also rare varieties which are black, brown or green coloured. A given area of land planted with soybeans can produce much more protein than land planted with other crops, or if the land were used to raise cattle.

Harvest: The harvest season of soya beans extends from September through to December

Locations: Soybean (Glycine Max) is a legume which is produced in the middle belt of the country of which Benue State is the largest producer in Nigeria.

Uses: Soybean is an important source of high quality and inexpensive protein and oil. With an average protein content of 40% and oil content of 20%, soybean has the highest protein content of all food crops and is second only to groundnuts in terms of oil content amongst food legumes. The oil produced from soybean is highly digestible and contains no cholesterol. Soybean is the largest single source of edible oil and accounts for roughly 50% of the total seed oil production worldwide. Nigeria has only one variety of soybeans which is yellow in colour. Soybeans are used for production of milk, edible oil and animal feeds. It is also useful in the treatment of malnourished children particularly in the sub-Saharan, Asian and Latin American countries

Export market: The export markets for Soya beans include the China, United state, Canada, United Kingdom, India and some other parts of europe.

Export Price: The export market price on FOB terms ranges from USD500-700/MT and sometimes or even more depending on the period during its season.

Local price: The local market price of Soya beans per MT ranges from NGN60,000 to NGN80,00.00 or even more to deliver it to Lagos during the season.

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